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Local favorite nominated for ACM award

Hill Country staple John T. Floore Country Store was nominated for an Academy of Country Music award for best small music venue. But musicians and fans already know what makes it stand out.

HELOTES, Texas — Local live music venue John T. Floore Country Store is getting national recognition with a nomination for an Academy of Country Music Award, but fans and people who play at the legendary spot already know what sets it apart.

Randy Rogers remembers the first time he played at Floore's.

"We had 42 people who came, 44 people paid, I think I made $200, which I split around the band," Rogers said.

That's changed, but most of Floore's has stayed the same.

"Floore's for 75 years has been a place to see live music, people come here for the show, they come here to be a part of the show," Rogers said. "The energy here is different, plus it’s the Hill Country, the people I love, the people who love country music and it just goes hand in hand- the music we do, and this venue."

That may be part of why the Academy of Country Music put Floore's up for a best music venue award, alongside venues like the House of Blues in Anaheim and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. 

It all started in 1942, when Floore's drew in visitors with tamales, bread and ice cold beer, and kept them with legends like Dwight Yoakam, Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson. It was Robert Earl Keen's live album at the venue that inspired Rogers most.

"It absolutely did carve out who I am," Rogers said. "I dreamed of playing here, I wanted to play here, and once I got here, I kind of made this my home and latched onto it. I think Floore's is part of the fabric of our state. So many greats have played here. If you’re a young kid watching this, this is where you want to be, the stage you want to play on."

The Academy of Country Music awards air Sunday at 7 on KENS 5.